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Topic A Militarization of the Arctic Question of Addressing the Militarization of the Arctic Circle and

Topic A

Militarization of the Arctic

Question of Addressing the Militarization of the Arctic Circle and Dealing with the Political, Economic, and Climatic Challenges Faced in the Region

Chairs: Caio Hachem & Matheus Bevilacqua

Index

Background Information…………………………

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Timeline……………………………………………7

Key Terms……………………………………

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List of Relevant Territorial Disputes……………….12 List of Relevant UN Treaties………………… ......12

Guiding Questions……………………………

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Further Research……………………………… ...14

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Background Information

“With warming seas creating new opportunities at the top of the world, nations are scrambling over the Arctic—its territorial waters, transit routes and especially its natural resources—in a rivalry some already call a new Cold War.”

— The New York Times (Aug. 29, 2015)

The

Arctic is

often depicted as

Background Information “With warming seas creating new opportunities at the top of the world, nations are

one of the most isolated and remote regions of the world, defined by its harsh climate and ice-choked waters; however, the melting of the polar ice caps is creating new opportunities for trade and resource extraction. With the Arctic becoming more open and hospitable, the area has begun to face increased territorial claims and the military presence from many of the countries in the region. The militarization of the Arctic is an issue of both regional and international importance. It may seem as if Arctic issues should only concern the countries that border upon it, but in fact, the fate of the Arctic concerns

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many nations and is of utmost importance to international community as a whole.

The Arctic region has been emerging as a potential conflict zone since the earliest attempts for its militarization. Despite having gained importance during the Second World War, when the region served as a supply line to the Soviet Union from the Allies, it was only during the Cold War that it gained major strategic importance. At the time, both the Soviet Union and the United States strengthened their positions in the Arctic, developing military capabilities in the region and further escalating tensions. The division of the international system into two antagonistic blocs created a competition for strengthening military capabilities in order to succeed in the case of a military threat. Also, the prospects for the development of the Arctic in its economic and energetic facets greatly encouraged disputes over the region. During recent years, the projections of climate change have shifted the world’s attention to the Arctic. The region is seen as having great potential mainly because of its natural resources; it is estimated that 13% of

many nations and is of utmost importance to international community as a whole. The Arctic region

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the world’s oil resources and 37% of its natural gas resources are located in the region. Beyond that, and of major economic relevance, is the progressive thawing of the sea ice in the region, which may open a maritime transit passageway, the Northern Sea Route (NSR) and the Northwest Passage (NP), between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, priority to many of the countries in the region. “In comparison with traditional southern sea routes via the Suez or Panama Canals, the routes through the Arctic offer a considerable reduction (about 40 percent) in the travelling distance between Europe and the west coast of North America, Northeast Asia and the Far East,” (Yenikeyeff and Krysiek, 2007 - Oxford Energy Comment). The Northwest Passage is mainly disputed between Canada and the United States over its status as internal or international waters. Currently, the utilization of such passages is still limited to the risks and costs of icebreaking; however, it is likely that in some decades these routes will be used despite such challenges, shortening the connection between Asia and Europe

the world’s oil resources and 37% of its natural gas resources are located in the region.

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In face of such benefits, the states situated in the Arctic region have been attempting to push forward their territorial claims, of which the dispute over the Lomonosov Ridge (disputed by Denmark, Canada and Russia) is the most prominent. In accordance to the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea, a State may enlarge its Exclusive Economic Zone if it is proved that the seabed is an extension of its continental shelf. The turning

In face of such benefits, the states situated in the Arctic region have been attempting to

point in this debate was the 2007 Russian expedition into the Arctic Ocean – Arktika 2007 – in search of geological evidences to prove the extension of its continental shelf. After the Russian flag has been planted in the seabed, the other States have also launched their own expeditions.

In

order

to

achieve

the

In face of such benefits, the states situated in the Arctic region have been attempting to

interests of the states one may face an increasing process of militarization and territorial divergences in the region. The Arctic Five nations (United States, Russia, Canada, Norway, and Denmark) have been developing their military capabilities and their demands in icebreakers to the exploitation of natural resources and commercial routes. The potential benefits of the Arctic are also calling the attention of non-

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regional States, such as China, India, Japan, and also the European Union, among others. These States are increasing their capabilities and investing in technologies to exploit the Arctic. Their role is important, because if their interests are not fulfilled they may intervene in such a way to achieve them. Therefore, the Chairs for the 2015 SPMUN Disarmament and International Security Council invite delegates to discuss all these issues concerning the Arctic region from the perspective of potential conflicts, which concern both international peace and security. Above all, the debate must take into account not only the interests of the Arctic countries, but the consequences of the issue to the international community. As a result, delegates must find a consistent solution, be it a revision or reassurance of the status of the Arctic region.

regional States, such as China, India, Japan, and also the European Union, among others. These States

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Timeline

*Extracted from http://www.worldpolicy.org/blog/2015/07/15/timeline-militarization-arctic

November 1994: UNCLOS

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), establishing Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of 200 nautical miles beyond a country’s baseline, goes into effect. Countries must ratify UNCLOS in order to make an official claim to an extended continental shelf with the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. They have ten years to make a claim after ratifying UNCLOS.

September 1996: OTTAWA DECLARATION

The Ottawa Declaration is signed, establishing the Arctic Council. The Arctic Council, which is composed of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the U.S., aims to address issues faced by the governments and indigenous peoples of the Arctic region.

January 2000: WARD HUNT ICE SHELF

The Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, which had remained solid for 3,000 years, begins to crack. This photo shows the "ice island" that has formed off of Ward Hunt Island following eight years of continual ice melt.

January 2004: OIL DISCOVERY

Researchers find evidence of oil deposits just 200 miles from the North Pole. This discovery incentivizes Arctic nations to make official claims to large portions of the Arctic.

July – October 2007: ARKTIKA 2007

Russia symbolically renews its 2001 claim to the Lomonosov Ridge by planting a Russian flag on the seabed of the Arctic Ocean, garnering international ridicule. The flag-planting was part of Arktika 2007, a research trip related to the 2001 claim. Russia hoped to prove

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definitively that the Lomonosov Ridge was a natural prolongation of Russia.

May 2008: USGS ARCTIC RESOURCE APPRAISAL

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates 90 billion barrels of oil, 1,669 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 44 billion barrels of natural gas liquids remain undiscovered in the Arctic. These estimates provide a basis for increased interest in Arctic hydrocarbons.

May 2008: ILULISSAT DECLARATION

The five Arctic coastal states (U.S., Canada, Russia, Denmark, and Norway) adopt the Ilulissat Declaration to affirm their commitment to the UNCLOS framework, and agree to the orderly settlement of any possible overlapping claims to the Arctic region.

May 2011 : AGREEMENT ON COOPERATION ON AERONAUTICAL AND MARITIME SEARCH AND RESCUE

The Arctic Council signs the Agreement on Cooperation on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue in the Arctic in line with the 1979 International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR Convention). The terms of the agreement require each Arctic Council nation to have military capabilities in the Arctic.

July 2011 : BARENTS SEA AGREEMENT

A maritime delimitation agreement between Norway and Russia regarding the Barents Sea goes into effect, ending almost 40 years of territorial conflict and treaty negotiations between the two Arctic nations.

May 2013 : AGREEMENT ON COOPERATION ON MARINE OIL POLLUTION PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE

The Arctic Council signs the Agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic. Like the 2011

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Search and Rescue agreement, the terms of the agreement require each Arctic Council nation to have military capabilities in the Arctic.

October 2013 : KOTELNY ISLAND MILITARY BASE

Russia reopens a Soviet-era military base on Kotelny Island. The island is situated between the Laptev Sea and the East Siberian Sea in the Russian Arctic.

February 2014 : US NAVY ARCTIC STRATEGY

The U.S. Navy releases an updated and expanded version of its original 2009 Arctic strategy in light of the increasingly rapid rate of ice-melt in the region. An expanded naval presence is scheduled to take full effect in 2020.

January 2015 : AUSTFONNA ICE CAP

A study on Norway’s Svalbard Islands reveals that the Austfonna Ice Cap has thinned 160 feet since 2012.

February 2015 : LOWEST WINTER SEA ICE EXTENT

The U.S. National Snow & Ice Data Center reports that the Arctic’s maximum winter sea ice extent is the lowest on satellite record.

March 2015 : JOINT VIKING

Norway performs “Joint Viking” in the northernmost county of Finnmark, the country’s largest military exercise since the Soviet era. Finnmark borders Russia’s Arctic area.

May 20 15 : CANADIAN ARCTIC SPENDING

Defense News reports that Canada plans to devote $3.4 billion (U.S.) to infrastructure developments in the Arctic in 2015.

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June 2015: US DOD BEGINS MEASURING SEA ICE

The U.S. Department of Defense begins measuring Arctic sea ice in light of decreasing seasonal ice cover in the region. According to a GAO study on the DOD's role in the Arctic, melting sea ice "could eventually increase the need for a U.S. military and homeland security presence in the Arctic, particularly in the maritime environment."

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Key Terms

EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE

A sea zone wherein the respective state has the authority to exert its sovereign rights over, including the exploration and exploitation of any natural resources that may be present.

GLOBAL SANCTUARY

An area in which exploitation is banned and is an area primarily devoted to science and research.

TERRITORIAL DISPUTE

A disagreement territories.

about

the

claim

over land

that

lies between two

NATURAL RESERVE

 

An area

protected for its flora and fauna, geological interest, and

conservation for the purpose of developing science. Antarctica is an

example.

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

The most comprehensive attempt at creating a unified regime for governance of the rights of nations with respect to the world's oceans. The treaty addresses a number of topics including navigational rights, economic rights, pollution of the seas, conservation of marine life, scientific exploration, piracy, and more.

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List of Relevant Territorial Disputes

The Lomonosov Ridge

The Bering Strait and Beaufort Sea Disputes

The Northwest Passage and the Northern Sea Route

The Svalbard Archipelago and the Hans Island Disputes

List of Relevant UN Treaties

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 16th November 1994, (A/RES/68/71)

UN Habitat Resolution Sustainable development of Arctic human settlements, 20th April 2007, (HSP/GC/21/L.5)

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Guiding Questions

What international regime shall be employed to define the countries’ right to use Arctic resources and routes?

What opportunities and challenges will rise with the creation of Arctic routes? How should this process be conducted in order to promote the most beneficial results to humankind?

What role can non-Arctic countries play in the Arctic issue and how can their actions interfere in the Arctic countries’ sovereignty?

Consider the International Law and territorial controversies among Arctic countries, what sort of collective actions should be taken to avoid increasing militarization?

What actions could be taken to improve governance within the Arctic Council and/or to eventually lead to the constitution of an “international regime” for the Arctic?

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Further Research

http://www.ufrgs.br/ufrgsmun/2013/wp-

content/uploads/2013/10/The-Militarization-of-the-Arctic-Political-

Economic-and-Climate-Changes.pdf

http://www.cfr.org/arctic/thawing-arctic-risks-opportunities/p32082

http://www.cfr.org/arctic/emerging-arctic/p32620#!/

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/30/world/united-states-russia-arctic-

exploration.html

http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/un

clos_e.pdf

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/02/us/politics/obama-to-call-for-

more-icebreakers-in-arctic-as-us-seeks-foothold.html

http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-russias-militarization-of-

arctic-2015-8

http://www.worldpolicy.org/blog/2015/07/15/timeline-militarization-

arctic

http://www.cfr.org/region/arctic/ri379

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritori

es/arctic_regions/index.html?inline=nyt-geo

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2007/10/01/science/20071002_A

RCTIC_GRAPHIC.html

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